Canada Elections Act (S.C. 2000, c. 9)

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Act current to 2018-12-12 and last amended on 2016-01-01. Previous Versions

PART 9Voting (continued)

Polling Day (continued)

Time to Employees for Voting (continued)

Marginal note:No penalty for absence from work to vote

  •  (1) No employer may make a deduction from the pay of an employee, or impose a penalty, for the time that the employer shall allow for voting under subsection 132(1).

  • Marginal note:Hourly, piece-work or other basis of employment

    (2) An employer who pays an employee less than the amount that the employee would have earned on polling day, had the employee continued to work during the time referred to in subsection 132(2) that the employer allowed for voting, is deemed to have made a deduction from the pay of the employee, regardless of the basis on which the employee is paid.

Marginal note:Prohibition

 No employer shall, by intimidation, undue influence or by any other means, interfere with the granting to an elector in their employ of the three consecutive hours for voting, as provided for in section 132.

Proceedings at the Poll

Marginal note:Who may be present at polling station

  •  (1) The only persons who may be present at a polling station on polling day are

    • (a) the deputy returning officer and the poll clerk;

    • (b) the returning officer and his or her representatives;

    • (c) the candidates;

    • (d) two representatives of each candidate or, in their absence, two electors to represent each candidate;

    • (e) an elector and a friend or relative who is helping him or her by virtue of subsection 155(1), only for the period necessary to enable the elector to vote;

    • (f) any observer or member of the Chief Electoral Officer’s staff whom he or she authorizes to be present;

    • (g) any person appointed under section 32.1; and

    • (h) if the polling station is established for a polling division of an electoral district in which a leader of a registered party is a candidate, any media representative who, subject to any conditions that the Chief Electoral Officer considers necessary to protect the integrity of the vote and the privacy of any person present at the polling station, is authorized in writing by the Chief Electoral Officer to be present and take any photograph or make any video recording of the candidates as they cast their votes.

  • Marginal note:Delivery of representative’s authorization

    (2) When a representative of a candidate is admitted to a polling station, the representative shall deliver his or her written authorization from the candidate or the candidate’s official agent in the prescribed form to the deputy returning officer.

  • Marginal note:Representative authorized in writing

    (3) A representative bearing a written authorization referred to in subsection (2) is deemed to be a representative of the candidate within the meaning of this Act and is entitled to represent the candidate in preference to, and to the exclusion of, any elector who might otherwise claim the right to represent the candidate.

  • Marginal note:Oath of secrecy

    (4) Each representative of a candidate or each elector described in paragraph (1)(d), on being admitted to the polling station, shall take an oath in the prescribed form.

  • Marginal note:Oath

    (5) A candidate’s representative who is appointed to more than one polling station, whether those polling stations are placed together in a central polling place or not, shall, before being admitted to the first polling station, take an oath in the prescribed form before the central poll supervisor or before the deputy returning officer of that polling station. The representative is not required to take another oath on being admitted to any other polling station in the same electoral district if he or she presents a document, in the prescribed form, proving that he or she has already taken the oath.

  • 2000, c. 9, s. 135;
  • 2014, c. 12, s. 44.

Marginal note:Presence of representatives

  •  (1) A candidate or the candidate’s official agent may authorize any number of representatives of the candidate to be present at a polling station, but only two of each candidate’s representatives may be present at any time.

  • Marginal note:Representatives may absent themselves from poll

    (2) A representative of a candidate, or an elector described in paragraph 135(1)(d), may leave a polling station at any time and return at any time before the counting of the votes begins and is not required to produce a new written authorization from the candidate or official agent or to take another oath.

  • Marginal note:Moving between polling stations

    (2.1) Despite subsection (2), a candidate’s representative may, either before or after the counting of the votes begins, go from one polling station to another if those polling stations are in the same polling place. However, once the representative leaves the polling place, he or she is not permitted to return after the counting of the votes begins.

  • Marginal note:Examination of list of electors and conveying information

    (3) A representative of a candidate may, during voting hours,

    • (a) examine the list of electors, provided that the representative does not delay an elector in casting his or her vote; and

    • (b) convey any information obtained by the examination referred to in paragraph (a) to a representative of the candidate who is on duty outside the polling station.

  • Marginal note:Photographs, recordings and communications devices

    (4) A candidate’s representative

    • (a) shall not take any photograph or make any audio or video recording at a polling station; and

    • (b) shall not, if he or she uses a communications device at a polling station, impede any elector from exercising their right to vote or violate the secrecy of the vote.

  • 2000, c. 9, s. 136;
  • 2014, c. 12, s. 45.

Marginal note:Candidate may act as representative

  •  (1) A candidate may perform the duties of a representative of the candidate, or may assist the representative in the performance of those duties, and may be present at any place that the representative is authorized to attend under this Act.

  • Marginal note:Non-attendance of representatives

    (2) The non-attendance of a representative of a candidate at any time or place authorized by this Act does not in any way invalidate any act or thing done during the absence of the representative if the act or thing is otherwise duly done.

Marginal note:Initialling ballots

  •  (1) Before a polling station opens on polling day, and in full view of the candidates or their representatives who are present at the polling station, the deputy returning officer shall initial the back of every ballot in the space indicated in Form 3 of Schedule 1, entirely in ink or entirely in black pencil so that when the ballot is folded the initials can be seen. The initials shall be as similar as possible on each ballot.

  • Marginal note:Ballots not to be detached

    (2) For the purpose of initialling, the ballots shall not be detached from the books in which they are contained.

  • Marginal note:Vote not to be delayed

    (3) The opening of a polling station shall not be delayed for the purpose of initialling the ballots. Ballots that are not initialled when the polling station opens shall be initialled as soon as possible and in all cases before being handed to electors.

Marginal note:Counting of ballots before opening of poll

 Candidates or their representatives who are in attendance at least 15 minutes before a polling station opens are entitled to have the ballots intended to be used at the polling station carefully counted in their presence and to inspect the ballots and all other documents relating to the vote.

Marginal note:Examining and sealing ballot box

 When the polling station opens, the deputy returning officer shall, in full view of the candidates or their representatives who are present, open the ballot box and ascertain that it is empty, and shall

  • (a) seal the ballot box with the seals provided by the Chief Electoral Officer; and

  • (b) place the ballot box on a table in full view of all present and ensure that the box remains there until the polling station closes.

Admitting Voters

Marginal note:Calling electors

 Immediately after the ballot box is sealed, the deputy returning officer shall call on the electors to vote.

Marginal note:Electors not to be impeded

  •  (1) The deputy returning officer shall ensure that every elector is admitted into the polling station and that the electors are not disturbed when they are in or near the polling station.

  • Marginal note:One elector at a time

    (2) A deputy returning officer may, if he or she considers it advisable, direct that not more than one elector for each voting compartment may at any time enter the room where the voting is held.

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